She was cruelly put in a plastic bag; all tied up and was abandoned at the entrance of an animal shelter. The next morning in the nick of time, shelter workers found her, and fortunately she survived.  This is a story of Jackey Wong.

Back in 1997, I just graduated and returned to my country (Malaysia) from UK.  My first job as a Product Executive with Novartis Companion Animal Health Division was a dream come true. My main duties give me the opportunity to work with vets and animal shelters all over the country.

On a hot and dry afternoon in April 1998, I decided to pay a visit to a nearby animal shelter as I was organising a community project for Novartis. Looking around me, I was checking out the kitten section and suddenly, I spotted a black and white kitten, looking at me, giving me that "do-you-want-to-take-me-home-look".  I picked her up and found her to be under weight and was inflicted with skin disease.  It saddened me deeply.  I made enquiries and the shelter manager told me how she was found two months earlier abandoned and was on the verge of dying. 

Somehow, there was a spark between the kitten and I.  I got to have her! I immediately adopted her and took her to the vet for medical treatment.  She was chronically inflicted with fleas and ticks, she was under weight and had diarrhoea.  I spent two months, giving her all the necessary (plus more) tender loving care and medical attention that any reasonable pet owner would do.

When I got her home, my housemates and I decided to name her Jackey.  It took Jackey a couple of months to bond with my other cat Smokey (her mom was a shelter animal as well). However, the road to recovery was challenging both, physically and emotionally for Jackey.   In Jan 2000, I decided to enroll Jackey and my other cat Smokey to participate in an event organized by Feline Society of Malaysia - International Cat Show Competition in Kuala Lumpur.

Jackey and Smokey were classified as domestic house cats.  There were a total of 200 cats in the competition and judges were flown in from Australia.

As the competition went along, Jackey started getting very popular.  She won her first award, which is Best Shorthair, and subsequently, Best Altered Female Shorthair, Best Female Shorthair and finally, the ultimate award, 'Best In Show'.  My other cat Smokey came out second.  I had my 15 min fame as a result of Jackey's victory. 

I was interviewed for the prime time news and I took the opportunity to advocate more animal shelter adoption as oppose to purchasing from a pet shop. Everyone around me kept asking me how much did I purchase Jackey for!!! No one could believe that Jackey was a shelter animal.  I was also featured by a local pet magazine on Jackey's success. Since the competition I have been and will continue to advocate more animal shelter adoption instead of purchasing a pet from a pet shop.

I am proud to say that since the competition, I am on a life long crusade to educate, to inform and to propagate more animal adoption.  I hope my success story will be an inspiration for animal lovers to do more for our animals today.  




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